12 July 2019


On day three of Velothon Sunshine Coast 2018, local riders Fay Bunce and Nat Jeffreys literally and figuratively found themselves at a ‘fork in the road’. With two and a half days of solid riding behind them, they had the choice to ease the pain by turning left or take the challenge and veer right. Fay explained that the simple decision to turn right was a very defining point and life changing moment for both herself and riding buddy Nat.

“We ended up separating from the big group and you come to a T-junction where you have choice of doing the 90km or the 150km. We had lost all hope by then and a group of girls from the Cammeray Roadies came past us. They were so lovely and they said, ‘Don’t even think about taking the short cut’ and they basically took us under their wing all the way to the end.”

“Literally the next day we realised we needed to team together a group of women cyclists so that we weren’t in that situation again, so we could be strong together. One of our good friends has a cycling shop in Buderim called Visione Cycles and we are affiliated with his shop. So that week, we formed our little club “Bella Visione”, which means beautiful vision.”

“In our Facebook group we have 50 or so members but we use Messenger more to discuss who is free for a ride. It is our social platform and community and from that we have also created little teams. This year at Velothon there are eight of us doing the three day and we are much stronger than last year,” Fay said.

Fay came to road cycling from half marathons and marathons and Nat’s background was in triathlon and while they had the discipline of training for another sport, they weren’t entirely prepared for a three day event.

“Last year was definitely daunting because we had never done three days of heavy cycling in a row before and we didn’t know how our legs would respond. We knew we could do all the climbs because we had done them in training. We had done them all before Velothon and practiced Obi Obi, so the climbing wasn’t the issue.”

“The few days before were a bit nervy. It was ‘Oh my goodness, am I going to be able to do three days’. We really didn’t want to miss out but it was amazing once we were riding,” Fay said.
“We loved it last year, it was the best three days. It was so beautiful and so much fun and we met so many cool and amazing people along the way. Just random people that we met and we were best buddies by the end of the three days. You make great friendships and we have kept in contact with quite a few people.”

For new mum Nat, 2019 will be spent on the sidelines cheering on her mates, but she described last year’s Velothon as ‘the best three days that I had in the entirety of 2018’.

“We had severe FOMO, we just didn’t want to miss out. We saw all the boys going into it and we didn’t want to miss a thing. I found it exhilarating more than daunting. I just caught up in the excitement of it all and got swept away. We were always going to do the three day, we were always going to turn right at the T-junction. The Cammeray Roadies just pushed us along.”

“You cannot do these things on your own, so the lesson was about team work and the importance of having a team. There were some days where one of us was stronger than the other, so we needed each other to get through it. We wouldn’t have been able to do it if it wasn’t for the people we met along the way and that was the big thing we got out of it. You need to be with a bunch of team mates and help push each other through it.”

“This year there are two Bella Visione teams and both teams are doing the three days. The A team is gonna go hard and try to take out some medals if possible. They want to win some stuff. They want to push themselves and be better than last year, having some fun while being competitive,” Nat said.
Both Fay and Nat would encourage female riders of all standards living on the Sunshine Coast to take the plunge and get involved in the local cycling scene and events such as Velothon.

“Anyone wanting to get in touch with us, the best place is contact Visione Cycles in Buderim and have a chat to Jason there. He is the best, most approachable, friendly guy and he will communicate with us. Otherwise we have the BellaVISIONE C.C. Sunshine Coast Facebook page.”

“It will be another three days outstanding riding again this year and a wonderful opportunity for cyclists from the Sunshine Coast and across Australia to get behind Velothon’s charity partner World Bicycle Relief,” Fay said.